Los Angeles Preps: Christian Quiñones

City Div. II: South East 51, Marshall 34

December, 10, 2011
12/10/11
12:32
AM PT


MONTEREY PARK -- Derwin Henderson looked over his left shoulder, then over his right. The South East coach promptly pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, knowing exactly what was coming next.

Nothing like an icy bath to kick off the celebration.

Henderson and top-seeded South East captured the City Section Division II championship Friday afternoon with a 51-34 victory against second-seeded Marshall at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. South East (13-1), in only its seventh year of existence, shattered its previous school record of eight wins.

The disbelief was evident on junior quarterback Jonathan Santos’ face. He passed for 317 yards and five touchdowns, and added a season-high 135 rushing yards and another score to pace the explosive Jaguars attack.

“I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” Henderson said.

Highly regarded Robert Lewis, the Southern Methodist-bound tailback who had 2,004 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns heading into the game, had difficulty finding running lanes but made his presence felt in a different way. He caught a 24-yard touchdown and returned an interception 36 yards for a score in the second half to help Eastern League champion South East pull away.

“Back in February Robert could have left to any other school he wanted, but he stuck around, stuck with me,” Henderson said.

Santos’ 71-yard touchdown pass to Ramone Smith was the dagger, making it 38-20 early in the fourth quarter. In the stands, newspaper scraps fluttered in the air, serving as makeshift confetti.

“This is everything,” said Santos, who fell just 31 yards short of 3,000 for the season. “Since I was little this is what I’ve been dreaming about. We never thought it’d be reality.”

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South East 42, Roosevelt 21

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
11:31
PM PT
South East football helmetsBlair Angulo for ESPNLA.comSouth East players honored slain student Cindi Santana with a decal on their helmets for Friday's game against Roosevelt.

SOUTH GATE -- For a few hours Friday night, the community got lost in a game of football.

There were tears before South East's 42-21 victory over visiting Roosevelt. There were hugs and distraught faces. The school had a moment of silence in memory of Cindi Santana, the South East student who was fatally stabbed on campus on Sept. 30. Cheerleaders held each other. Jaguars players commemorated Santana by sticking pink 'CS' decals on the back of their helmets.

Brutal violence had shaken the six-year-old school a week before. On this night, unity was the prevalent theme. The wounds were still fresh but, after kickoff, the home crowd cheered on its undefeated team.

"This team has been through a total roller coaster," South East coach Derwin Henderson said. "They decided, as a team, to not only play for Cindi but to play for this community, play for this school. It's destiny. They feel like they can go out and beat anybody."

With the way Jonathan Santos threw the ball, the Jaguars (6-0) could very well be the favorites to capture the City Section Division II title. The junior quarterback completed 21 of 33 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Christian Quiñones had three touchdown catches and Juan Nevarez added 144 yards receiving to help South East pull away.

"We're sad," Santos said. "Everything is happening so fast. But every week we've got to work hard. God is watching us and everyone else is watching us. Hopefully we have their support."

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